Continuum belief interventions that erode boundaries between “normal” individuals and individuals with psychiatric problems may help to reduce psychiatric stigma, but a number of questions persist. The magnitude of belief change attributable to the intervention is unclear. Moreover, most studies have executed continuum interventions to reduce stigma of schizophrenia, and all studies have examined intervention effects on only public stigma. This study utilized a large sample (n = 654) to examine effects of a continuum intervention on depression stigma—public stigma in the full sample and self-stigma among participants with a self-reported history of depression. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: (a) the control group, which read material that merely described depression, (b) the continuum group, which read material that attested to a continuum view of depression, or (c) the categorical group, which read material that attested to a categorical view of depression. Correlational analyses demonstrated that preintervention categorical belief positively predicted, and preintervention continuum belief negatively predicted, depression stigma. Moreover, preintervention categorical belief positively predicted, and preintervention continuum belief negatively predicted, self-stigma among participants with a self-reported history of depression. There was scant evidence that the intervention affected public stigma among participants without a history of depression and no evidence that it affected self-stigma among participants with a history of depression. These findings illuminate a number of key priorities for future research on continuum belief intervention and its prospects for stigma reduction.
Thibodeau, Ryan (2019). "Continuum Belief, Categorical Belief, and Depression Stigma: Correlational Evidence and Outcomes of an Online Intervention." Stigma and Health Online First Posting.
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